Long Beach, Calif. – After many years away from racing BMW E30s, Mike Skeen decided to get back behind the wheel of a fine piece of German engineering in the new Hawk Performance Audi R8 LMS Ultra.
CRP Racing has acquired an Audi R8 Ultra from Audi Sport customer racing, a car that CRP owner, Nicholas Short, believes is the future for the CRP team. “We are very happy with our choice and believe that with the engineering support and constant development that Audi offers, we will return to the top step of the podium,” said Short.
“It came as such a shock,” exclaimed Skeen. “I haven’t had a lot of time in an R8, except for a few laps at Road Atlanta and little jaunt around Charlotte Motor Speedway in Dave’s road-going car, but I’ve had the Audi itch for quite some time.  I stole my girlfriend’s A4 to get the Quattro experience–I’m glad she hasn’t noticed the cage and racing seats yet–but they tell me this thing is rear wheel drive!”
Short was very positive about the experience so far, saying, “We looked at a lot of options available to us and the reason we went with Audi is, firstly, their car is very fast and has shown to be a winner world wide. Secondly, their customer support program is way beyond that of anything else that is offered by any other manufacturer to a customer in the USA. We have been welcomed by Audi to its customer program with open arms, something we have not experienced before with previous cars we have run. This program came together very quickly and I cannot say enough about the Audi staff that stepped up to make this happen for Long Beach. We must also thank our sponsor, Hawk Performance, for supporting our decision to change manufacturers and look forward to bringing them the results they deserve.”
“As a sponsor, I am very pleased to see that we are moving to Audi and their terrific R8,” said Dave Roberts, President and CEO of Carlisle Companies/Hawk Performance. “I own an R8 street car and if the race car is as capable as the street car, it will make the team a World Challenge front runner in 2014. I am confident that with the R8 being prepared by Nick Short of CRP Racing and with Mike Skeen behind the wheel, the Hawk/CRP Racing/Audi Team will challenge for the championship this year. I can’t wait for the race this weekend at Long Beach.”
“Audi has proven to be a competitive platform in Pirelli World Challenge and really everywhere they’ve competed,” said Skeen. “They have made a concerted effort to support and develop the R8 with the teams that campaign them, and I look forward to being a part of that.  CRP Racing has proven it can run up front and I think we can get back to that level with this partnership.”
Follow @mikeskeenracing on Twitter and @thegingerstig on Instagram for pictures, and updates, and all that.  You can even watch the race live Sunday night at www.world-challengetv.com at 4 pm Pacific.